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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Self-Presentation and Common Cultural Structures in Ngoma Rituals of Southern Africa
Author:Janzen, John M.
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic terms:South Africa
Swaziland - Eswatini
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1581271.pdf
Abstract:'Ngoma', an ancient ritual healing institution in central and southern Africa, serves as a transregional, transethnic and transracial channel for the articulation of experience and knowledge about misfortune, as well as about the very basis of society and literally anything else under the sun. This paper focuses on the question of why 'ngoma' in South Africa reveals a single modality or consciousness, despite the extensive ethnic pluralism of the country, whereas in neighbouring regions as well as in Central Africa, it is manifested through thematic as well as ethnic particularism and heterogeneity. The author's inquiry focuses on the practice of two senior diviner-healers, Adelheid Ndika in Guguletu township near Capetown, and Ida Mabuza in Swaziland. The author's explanation is based on definitions of consciousness from Terence O. Ranger, Richard Werbner and Eric Hobsbawm. He argues that the distinctiveness of 'ngoma' in South Africa is due to the extenuating circumstances of life in that country, caused by apartheid. Notes, ref.